Municipal workers disinfect the parking lot of a hospital in Ramallah. (Flash90) Flash90
hospital in Ramallah

“There is direct, daily contact with the Israeli Ministry of Health for the fight against corona,” said a source at the Arab-run Al-Makassaed hospital in Jerusalem.

By TPS

Israel slammed a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official for alleging that Israel and the PA were not cooperating in the war on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) when, in fact, the cooperation was direct and daily.

Saeb Erekat, Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and chief negotiator with Israel, shared on Twitter an Israeli cartoon showing various countries in the Middle East, including Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, united in the battle against coronavirus with the text “in the atmosphere of corona, cooperation is the best solution.” The PA flag is not in the cartoon.

On his Twitter account, Erekat shared the cartoon and said that the “Israeli Foreign Ministry sharing [a] tweet in Arabic that excludes Palestine from regional cooperation on corona.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry account in Arabic responded to Erekat by stating that “as someone who knows well the extent of cooperation between Israel and the PA on corona, it’s unfortunate that you choose to sow division during this time of crisis.”

“You’re welcome to follow our account to see just how well this cooperation is reflected,” the Ministry added.

Israel has significantly assisted the PA in its struggle to stem the spread of the virus, and the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres has praised the cooperation between Israel and the PA on the issue.

Speaking last Wednesday, Guterres stated that “Israelis and Palestinians are a prime example of cooperation in the fight against corona.”

Earlier this month, President Reuben Rivlin called PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and gave official confirmation of the contacts that have been taking place since mid-February.

The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) on Wednesday delivered 3,000 testing kits for detecting coronavirus and 50,000 protective masks to the PA, another Israeli step to help the PA combat the spread of the virus.

COGAT has published the Israeli health ministry guidelines on prevention and protection from the virus spread and ways to deal with contagion and outbreak in Arabic.

Civil Administration Health Coordinator Dalia Basa said earlier this month that “bacteria and viruses do not stop at the border, and the spread of the dangerous virus in Judea and Samaria can also jeopardize the health of the residents of Israel.”

Israel will continue to assist the PA “both as an Israeli interest and for humanitarian reasons,” she added.

TPS has learned that the Israeli Ministry of Health has delivered respirators to eastern Jerusalem hospitals, Al-Makassed and St. Joseph.

“There is direct, daily contact with the Israeli Ministry of Health for the fight against corona,” a source at Al-Makassaed told TPS.

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